THE SOFT SCIENCE OF ROAD RACING MOTORCYCLES PDF

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn money if you buy from a link. How we test gear. The Milwaukee-based bike builder is shuttering a factory in Kansas City as forecasts for predict continued declines. International sales have fared better, but possible steel and aluminum tariffs threaten to rock the manufacturer overseas.

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Figure 1: The gyroscope is spinning on its axis. Figure 2: A force is applied to try to rotate the spin axis. Figure 3: The gyroscope is reacting to the input force along an axis perpendicular to the input force.

A moving motorcycle is affected by gyroscopic forces that are unique to two-wheeled machines. As a result, new motorcyclists must develop the skills necessary to handle their machines and must be licensed before they can drive their motorcycles on the street.

In particular, motorcycle riders must master the art of steering, braking and changing gears. Steering Steering a motorcycle at low speeds is a straightforward process. The rider simply turns the handlebar in the direction he wishes to go. This only works at speeds below five miles an hour. If a motorcycle is traveling any faster, the rider must use a different kind of steering, known as counter-steering. This type of steering may seem counterintuitive. In front of you, blocking the right half of your lane, is a wreck or some other obstacle.

In reality, this will steer the bike to the right, directly into the obstacle. Instead, you should push on the left side of the handlebar, which directs the front wheel to the right but steers the vehicle to the left. Why does a motorcycle work this way? One of the most interesting effects related to a gyroscope is a phenomenon known as precession. Push right, turn right. Both brakes should be used at the same time, although the front brakes are more powerful and will typically provide 70 to 90 percent of the total braking force.

New riders often fear using the front brake, but it should be applied every time a motorcycle is slowed or stopped. Many accidents are caused by riders braking incorrectly. According to the California Highway patrol, locking up the rear brakes is a factor in the majority of motorcycle crashes. This content is not compatible on this device. Changing Gears Early motorcycle clutches were operated by a foot pedal in the same way that automobile drivers use clutches.

British designers solved this problem with a hand-operated clutch. Today, hand-operated clutches and foot-operated shifters are standard on all models.

Braking Advice When a motorcycle experiences a rapid deceleration, weight shifts to the front wheel. This makes the back of the bike lighter and can result in the rear wheel locking up and skidding. In this situation, riders should simply keep the rear brake applied and focus their eyes on the horizon where they want the bike to go.

The bike will continue to skid, but in a controllable manner with little fishtailing. When the front wheel locks up, riders should ease off the front brake. The best way to avoid a front lockup is to use a technique called "staged braking. In stage-two braking, the rider progresses to stage one, then continues to apply a steadier force. By stage four, which is usually reserved for emergencies that require rapid deceleration, the rider bears down on the brake as hard as possible, but only after progressing through the other stages.

This kind of progressive braking will serve motorcyclists in all driving situations and will usually prevent a front lockup. Helmet Head Many states require that motorcycle riders wear helmets. Helmets perform two functions in a crash. The outer shell, which is constructed of fiberglass or injection-molded plastic, distributes energy from an impact across a wider area. An inner lining made of polystyrene absorbs most of the shock of the impact.

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Yet knowing how your suspension works and what effect the various adjustments have will help you get the best out of your riding. A bad suspension set up can turn your bike into an uncompromising and unpleasant machine, whereas getting it right can improve your riding dramatically and progress your skills to the next level. Both have very different functions but are relatively useless without each other. The spring holds the weight of the machine and serves to absorb impacts from the ground through riding. However, just absorbing impact alone would not be any use, as the bike would continue to bob up and down like Mr Bobblehead.

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A German ace, he authored a list of rules for his subordinates to study in hopes of increasing their odds of success in battle. Boelcke flew, fought, and reflected upon what he had learned to instruct what were to become some of the finest combat aviators of his era. The doctrine he developed is still acknowledged by those in the air-combat community today. That doctrine is known as the Dicta Boelcke. If history is any indication Boelcke taught well, you might recognize the name of one of his charges, Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron. Keith Code is the owner and founder of the California Superbike School; he has raced, written on, and instructed others in the art and science of racing and winning on motorcycles, including some of the finest motorcycle road racers in the world.

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Figure 1: The gyroscope is spinning on its axis. Figure 2: A force is applied to try to rotate the spin axis. Figure 3: The gyroscope is reacting to the input force along an axis perpendicular to the input force. A moving motorcycle is affected by gyroscopic forces that are unique to two-wheeled machines. As a result, new motorcyclists must develop the skills necessary to handle their machines and must be licensed before they can drive their motorcycles on the street. In particular, motorcycle riders must master the art of steering, braking and changing gears. Steering Steering a motorcycle at low speeds is a straightforward process.

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